Becoming Mentally STRONG


March 4, 2014 by Dr. Sana Keller

brain barbellsMental Strength…Sounds like a quality we would all like to have…that we might like to strengthen…and be remembered for.

Huffington Post writer, Carolyn Gregoire pulls out 9 key practices of mentally strong people from Ryan Holiday’s book: The Obstacle Is The Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials Into Triumph—due to be released on May 1st of this year. The link to her post is included at the end of this post–very worth reading.

Gregoire’s post describes mental strength as a difficult-to-define psychological concept that encompasses emotional intelligence, grit, resilience, self-control, mental toughness and mindfulness. She then lists 9 Essential Habits of Mentally Strong People, detailing each one. I list them and highly encourage you to check out her post. Here goes:

  1. They see things objectively. This means looking past our emotions to see situations clearly.
  2. They let go of entitlement. We don’t deserve a life free from setbacks or obstacles, especially in light of how unpredictable and unexplainable the world can be.
  3. They keep an even keel. This is called emotional stability…keeping a cool head as we go through the current crisis of the day.
  4. They don’t aspire to be happy all the time. It doesn’t work to avoid negative emotions, so a healthier approach is to accept both positive and negative emotions. Strive for wholeness, not happiness.
  5. They’re realistic optimists. I love this phrase! This means having the hopefulness of optimists and the clarity of pessimists, which provides motivation and critical thinking for creative solutions.
  6. They live in the present moment. This means having a mindful, attentive way of engaging with the world around us instead of dwelling on the past or hanging onto the future.
  7. They’re persistent in the pursuit of their goals. This is where ‘grit’ comes into play…providing perseverance for long-term goals.
  8. But they know when it’s time to let go. Realizing that we can only control our own actions, not the results provides the reasoning for letting go of things beyond our power.
  9. They love their lives. Most likely the most important key to mental strength, understanding that we can find the joy in not just accepting, but in embracing the things that happen to usfinding mental strength

Read the Carolyn’s post from Holiday’s book at

I look forward to Holiday’s book being released in May as well!

To Greater Mental Strength—

Sana Keller MS, RN, CNC, MH, HHP


Photo credits:,,

2 thoughts on “Becoming Mentally STRONG

  1. This is great- and I loved the salt blog as well. I tweeted it. It makes perfect sense to me!


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